THE LOSS OF A NEW YORK CITY ICON
I am very saddened that former New York Mayor Ed Koch has died at age 88.
Koch from 1978 to 1989, with his favorite trademark phrase "How'm I Doing?," was a bigger than life figure in the city. The former Mayor died of congestive heart failure at about 2 a.m. at New York Presbyterian hospital following a year of several hospitalizations, George Arzt, his spokesman, said.
Koch was responsible with bringing New York City back from the ashes. Under his term as Mayor, the city regained its financial footing and underwent a building renaissance. Other Mayors have been credited with the revitalization of Times Square, but it was Ed Koch who had the real vision and set everything in motion to bring the famed New York City Neighborhood to where it is today. Koch saw what Times Square could be and he set the plan that future Mayors used to make the city what it is today.
In 2008, Koch announced he had secured a plot in Manhattan's Trinity Cemetery, telling the New York Times: "The idea of leaving Manhattan permanently irritates me."
Every single time I photographed Ed Koch, it was a adventure. He was a fun guy. He always had something funny to say and he always posed. The last time I photographed him, I was at a premiere in Tribeca. I went outside to have a smoke and there I saw Koch, smiling and doing errands around the neighborhood. He gladly posed and of course he had some jokes to go along with the impromptu photo shoot. This was a man who loved the city and loved being known as just a New Yorker. He loved being recognized on the street and he would talk to anybody. He always asked "How'm I Doing", but he really wanted to know how you were doing. He loved hearing people on the street telling him their stories, New York stories.
New York City has lost a great man and a great human being. I already miss him.